Ruben Evangelista

Ruben Evangelista cooking

Hello, my name is Ruben Evangelista. I am the Executive Chef and owner of Lista’s Grill, an award-winning, modern American restaurant in Pasadena, Maryland. I grew up in the Northern New Mexico and Colorado area as one of 11 siblings. I was trained by my father, Florencia Evangelista, an international chef who demonstrated his talents in many famous Denver, Colorado restaurants including Old Navarre, Captain’s Table, and the Oxford Hotel. Many of my favorite recipes served at Lista’s were learned by my father’s side. Along with tried and true family recipes, I also love creating new dishes with influences and flavors from all over the world. My lifelong aspiration has been to have our family restaurant, Lista’s, on the list of top 100 owner-operated restaurants in the country.

Culinary Experience

Executive Chef: 1978–present
Lista’s Grill owner and operator at locations in Virginia Beach, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Pasadena, MD

Souse: 1972–1977
Trained under Florencio Evangelista, Four Winds and Regency Hotels, Denver, Colorado

Dessert: 1971–1973
Trained with Fidal Ramos and Walter Leiderman, Regency and Four Winds Hotels, Denver, Colorado

Salad: 1969–1972
Trained under Florencio Evangelista and Walter Leiderman, Four Winds Hotel, Denver, Colorado

Butcher: 1969–1971
Trained under my father, Florencio P. Evangelista and my uncle, Fidal Ramos, Four Winds Hotel, Denver, Colorado


Restaurant Design
Involved in the opening of ten independent locations including five Lista’s restaurants and two El Torito operations

Menu Design
Designed and wrote over 40 menus from start to finish including new recipe development and pricing

Kitchen Design
Worked as an independent consultant for equipment suppliers and wholesalers, for design and set up

Price and Cost Analysis
Constant updating of inventory controls for proper cost-to-profit margins

Personal Achievements and awards

  • 2018 Best Chef and Best Creative Cuisine, Maryland Gazette awards
  • 2017 Best Maryland Crab Soup, What’s Up? Best of Food & Dining
  • 2016 Best Chef and Best Creative Cuisine, Maryland Gazette awards
  • 2016 Best Chef and Best Creative Cuisine Finalist, Capital Gazette awards
  • 2016 Best Dinner – Best of Pasadena Awards
  • 2015 Best Chef and Best Creative Cuisine, Maryland Gazette Reader’s Choice Awards
  • Lista’s Grill Modern American Restaurant 2002 Pasadena, Maryland
  • Lista’s New Mexican Restaurant 1993 Baltimore, Maryland
  • Evangelista’s New Mexican Cookbook published in 1992
  • Lista’s Grill — 2004 Pasadena, Maryland
  • Lista’s Restaurant — 1988 Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 15th Street Grill — 1987 Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Lista’s Restaurant — 1984 Virginia Beach, Virginia